By The Meatriarchy
Consider this quote from your media brother Damian Cox in today's Star:
You'd have thought, for starters, that the Big Three of the Tampa Bay Lightning — Brad Richards, Vinny Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis — would feast on three greenhorns playing defence for the Maple Leafs, particularly with one of them, Andy Wozniewski, logging more than 22 minutes of ice time.Didn't happen.Instead, the Leaf kiddie corps — Wozniewski, Staffan Kronwall and Jay Harrison — played mistake-free, poised hockey for the most part against the defending Stanley Cup champions. Wozniewski stared down the jitterbuggish St. Louis on a solo rush late in the third, and Harrison was on the ice in the final seconds of regulation and acquitted himself quite capably.
Couldn't have put it better myself. Ok, the column wasn't so much about the rookied defensemen as an excuse for Cox to go after Brian McCabe. But the fact is the young d-men have played tremendously since being called up and that doesn't include Carlo Colaiacovo who is injured. In addition two other strong prospects Brendan Bell and Ian white are playing for the Marlies and waiting their chance.
So Toronto Sports Media here is the question.
How does the plethora of strong defensive talent in the Leafs system square with your perception of the team (if you are unsure of your perception read your columns from last week)?
Specifically how could a team run by the evil penny pinching Richard Petty have acquired such a surplus of defensive talent since Richard the Evil went out and searched the cosmos for the worst GM he could find and told him not to worry about the farm team because the Leafs "never have any decent draft picks". Then the completely inept GM and Petty conspired to make sure that the Leafs regular roster defensement all got hurt so that the young players would cause the team to look even worse. This is all part of the master plan to see just how bad a team can be and still make money. Right? Right?
And then they told the stupid coach (who is only smart enough to coach Canada's Olympic team - but we know that isn't a real coaching position) "hey make sure you play all those rookies in key situations like pk and the last minutes of the game" and the coach said "yes masters" because he is not a coach at all but some kind of robot that only exists to yell at referees. Not like that nice boy Wayne Gretsky who is always polite and never gets mad when a penalty is called on his team.
You guys sure called it.
Isn't it is amazing how much better the defense looks when you get good goaltending. Belfour has been great the past 2 games and if he can keep that up the Leafs will do very well.ReplyDelete
I like what I have seen from Harrison and I like Kronwall and his size but I am not quite sold on Wozniewski yet. I think he needs a bit more work as his -6 in 5 games would indicate.
I have always thought the Toronto hockey media has been overly critical of the Leafs defense. It is not one of the top defenses in the league but isn't anywhere close to the worst either. Inconsistant goaltending makes any defense look bad. Hasek covers up a lot of mistakes the Senators defense make but Ray Emery doesn't (see gane against Boston as an example of what happens when he doesn't). Plus some of the Leaf forwards are equally to blame (yes, Mr. O'Neill, I'm talking about you). Although I think the Leafs could use another capable 25 minute (defensive) defenseman (which is clearly apparent when 28 minute man McCabe wasn't around) their defense is decent.
Harrison and Kronvall are an excellent pair. Wozniewski has been decent, not bad, not good. Vinnie took him to school on the rush last night. Klee shouldn't be a no.3 defenseman. His foot speed, endurance, and decision making are all questionable.ReplyDelete
I think that nice boy's name is spelled GRETZKY...ReplyDelete